English Football Association rejects FIFA criticism of 2018 World Cup bid
Football Association chairman Greg Dyke described the decision to clear Russia and Qatar as World Cup hosts as "a joke" after the man who led the investigation into 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding appealed against it.
The report published on Thursday morning by German judge Hans-Joachim Eckert, chairman of the adjudicatory chamber of FIFA’s independent ethics committee, cleared both bid winners Russia and Qatar to host the tournaments, but chief ethics investigator Michael Garcia has announced he is to appeal against Eckert’s findings.
Garcia said the decision "contained numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations of the facts and conclusions detailed in the investigatory chamber’s report" and indicated in a statement his intention to appeal.
Dyke told Sky Sports News: "(Garcia’s appeal) makes a mockery of the process.
"If the person who did the investigation said the report didn’t reflect what he believed then I’m a bit shocked by it all, as I’m sure most people are."
Asked if FIFA president Sepp Blatter should consider his position, Dyke added: "I don’t think it’s anything to do with Sepp Blatter. I think it’s a bit of a joke though, the whole process.
"It’s undermined the whole process. If the person doing the investigation is saying ‘actually what they’re saying isn’t what I said’, (then) what’s the point of it?"
Dyke reiterated his call for the Garcia report to be published in full, with names redacted where they had given evidence in confidence.
The Eckert report, while clearing Qatar and Russia of any significant breaches of bidding rules, did criticise the England 2018 bid team for the way it acceded to various requests from disgraced former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner.
Lord Triesman, who was chairman of the FA at the time of the bid, told the BBC: "I’d like to have seen the original document which was produced by Mr Garcia and I’m never satisfied by seeing summaries by somebody else.
"I think in this day and age people are entitled to see the original. But what I do think is true from the report is that there are many areas where he, in effect, says there’s a knife-edge distinction between doing it properly, but spreading a lot of money around, and things that are corrupt that it just shows you just how much the FIFA act has got to be cleaned up."
The report said the England 2018 team "violated bidding rules", including helping to secure a job in the UK for a family friend of Warner.
It also distanced Qatar 2022 from the actions of Qatari executive committee member Mohamed Bin Hammam.
Dyke, in quotes given to Sky Sports News prior to Garcia announcing his intention to appeal, said: "Questions still need to be answered. If you read that report it says all the bids were assessed. The one that was the highest risk was Qatar and they won, and it doesn’t take us any further forward on why they won.
"I still don’t understand why the 2022 World Cup was given to Qatar when it was quite clear from FIFA’s own technical committee that said it would be high risk. I don’t understand it any more than I understood it then.
"The question about Qatar is all about Mr Bin Hammam and all about whether Mr Bin Hammam was representing Qatar and the Qatari bid or whether he was just representing his own interests. They’ve come to the conclusion that he was representing his own interests. I still find that quite difficult to take."
Asked if the FA had damaged the image of FIFA, Dyke added: "I think it’s quite hard to damage the image of FIFA. What it tells you is that the people who co-operated the most got criticized and those who didn’t co-operate at all didn’t get anything which seems odd by anybody’s standards.
"As for the criticism of the English bid, obviously I wasn’t involved, but it’s all based on information that we gave to them and that the FA had cleared with the FIFA executives in advance."
Asked about Russia failing to provide emails on the basis their leased computers had since been destroyed, Dyke said: "Those who co-operated the most seemed to be the ones that gave them the information by which they were then criticised, like the FA. Others, who didn’t co-operate, didn’t get criticized at all. Well, there’s a surprise."
FIFA said it had yet to be notified by Garcia of his intention to appeal.
A FIFA spokesman said: "We take note of reports mentioning a statement issued by Michael Garcia, chairman of the investigatory chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee, following today’s publication of the statement by the chairman of the adjudicatory chamber, Hans Joachim Eckert, relating to the report on the inquiry into the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cup Bidding Process as prepared by the investigatory chamber.
"For the time-being, FIFA has not been officially notified of this statement and is therefore not in a position to further comment on this matter at this stage. We will follow-up in due time."